I have seen things I cannot unsee. I have second hand partaken in things I wish I could say I didn’t. All I was trying to do was help. Thats all I ever want to do is to help. My second day on the street was my last. OR so I thought. IT was the last day I would be out there begging although I did go back tonight to help and bring bags a friend helped me put together. Thats when I saw things I wish I could unsee. We will get to that. But first let me to you about Jason. Jason was this sweet boy, well guy. Probably my age. Who is homeless and lives on the streets. He has nothing. He has only himself. I took a liking to him on my first day. He walked by me and read my sign and said “yup, thats what I’m always saying”. So on my second day I figured I would see if he wanted to sit with me. Maybe a couple would make more money? And we could split it evenly? He agreed and we went down to the Sanger Theater. I got to know Jason. I got to know how sweet a soul he has. We had been in the heat for over an hour and I hadn’t eaten all day and I could only imagine. I had a few bucks on my LLR card and knew they had half off pizza at a downtown pizza place so I asked if he had eaten today…he didn’t say anything. He just up and left. He came back with subway and gave it to me. I asked where he got it he said “money”. Its true, the homeless take care of each other. I wish I hadn’t gotten the news I got tonight. Anyway that was just the beginning of Jason and mines adventure that night. We saw an Eagle Scout and I was able to say I was a Gold Award Recipient. Not sure how good that looks but I said it. It doesn’t matter what you do in your youth you can still make mistakes as an adult that can lead you to begging on the street and I hope his mother had a long talk with him and I wish I could have shared my story with him. I wish I had had the courage then instead of now. To tell him the mistakes I made and what not to do. Maybe thats what my book will be. A guide of what NOT to do. Seems fitting. I know everything that DOESN’T work. Jason and I also met a future congress man Phil Ehr. With whom I got to express my deep concern for the mentally ill and the homeless. He squatted down and got to our level and LISTENED TO US!!! How inspiring. I will definitely vote for him. NOT because of his party, not because of his opinions on anything but because of his compassion and the fact that he looked at me and treated me like a real person who had a real vote and a real opinion that mattered. Thats why. I hope one day he is our president and I get to look back on the time I met our president. With my friend Jason. Who will live forever in my heart. I may never get to say goodbye to him. I went back downtown after I left that night. Jason and I made out with $6 a piece. Which is good for 3 hours I suppose. Anyway I brought Jason a comforter I wasn’t using so that he wouldn’t be sleeping on cement. Well tonight when I went to deliver the bags my friend and I made up “Little momma” said he went to jail and they took his comforter. I blessed him with Rose oil that night in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit. I don’t know if I did it right. If I did then may be jail saved him. He had a roof and three square meals a day. But I wouldn’t wish jail on anyone and they took the blanket I gave him. I hope they give it back or put it with his things. He is a real person. Those are his things. They may not be much but those are his! My heart hurts for selfish reasons. I wanted to see him one more time. I wanted to say goodbye. Knowing he is safe makes me feel good though. But I hurt. I hurt for what I saw tonight. I saw a lady do heroine. My high school sweet heart died of a heroine overdose. I told her that. I told her not to do too much. She told me not to give people any more money. I said “yes ma’am”. Knowing I had just contributed to the heroine she was smoking. Did I give her a lot of money? HELL NO. I don’t have much to give. She was making a point to a sweet naive little girl. The world is cruel. The world is sad. The world is broken. And my heart alone is not big enough to fix it. I have come to realize this and it breaks my heart even more. I can’t take anymore emotions tonight. I just wanted to deliver bags to the homeless. Not learn life lessons and have old wounds brought up and find out that a good friend will never know the impact he made on my life. Y’all take it one roe at a time. I’m off to bed for now.
I don’t know how anyone can see a homeless person and not look down. If only for a second. We all know major cities and towns are going to be full of them that is just life. IT is what being below the poverty line has done, its what not being able to qualify for disability when someone really needs it gets turned down, its what being mentally ill and not being able to get help does to a person. Its HELL. I have lived it now. BRIEFLY but I have been behind the sign and will go behind the sign again today. Not for me but for THEM. The ones who have no one to look them in the eyes. The ones who remember my face because I had given them money and talked to them before. THEY REMEMBERED ME!!! And now when I have nothing to give they are helping me out telling me times to come back and when to come and trying to take care of me. There is such a strong calling in me to help these people. More so then to make money for my moving truck. If I make money for my moving truck thats fabulous but if not then God will provide some other way. I just know it. So do you want to know what it was like behind the sign? What it felt like to beg for money with a guitar and a case for 3 hours in the hot FL heat? Do you want to know what that feels like? What it taste like? What it sounds like? Listen close and I’ll tell you.
I started my journey later than I had intended to. Headed out, parked a good 8 blocks away from where I wanted to be sitting. First of all a guitar is heavy, so is a catholic Bible, (ya know, all those extra books lol) and then my water bottle. ITs FL so its HOT as all get out. Like I could have friend an egg on the cement had I had an egg. Anyway I’m walking down Palofax and I come upon a dang riot. Well riot is not a good word. “Gathering” “Supporters” with picket signs and the likes about SOMETHING. I don’t keep up with the news y’all. Its sad. I have enough sadness in my life. Something about supporting a congress man and I know they didn’t like Trump too much. I went LIVE with it on Facebook. I thought it was neat to walk up on that on my way to do this. So I watched that for a bit and then kept walking. I came upon a regular lady. A homeless lady who plays the guitar. She complemented mine and I said I would love to start a band. Haha apparently they prefer to work alone but I took no offense she told me where I could go. So I went down there. Along the way I passed another couple. They remembered me from when I had money and I used to always give them a dollar or a smoke. This time it was me on the other side. They were shocked. I’m sure a lot of them were. I assured them it was not a joke. WHO WOULD SIT IN THAT HEAT FOR A JOKE. Plus I would never want to take advantage of someone like that. So I sat below the Sanger theater sign. I played, and played and played, and played. People would walk by and not even look down. I would tear up. I was shocked someone didn’t call the cops on me for having an emotional break down on the street of Palofax. I’m a quiet crier though. I was crying not only for myself but the whole world of homeless people. They don’t even get treated like they are human. I had so many people cross the street just to avoid me. Do you know how that made me feel. The worst was when someone would reach in their pocket like they were going to give me something and I got excited and then they didn’t and I realized they put their hand in their pocket for protection. I would never take from someone else. And besides unless I use “the force” how am I supposed to get into your pocket?!? People are sooo weird. And its the little things that hurt and hell I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it. Do we realize how the small actions we do impact people on such a large scale. This is temporary for me I hope for them it is not. They have to live this everyday. The sounds were muted. I just heard my own thoughts and my guitar. I really don’t recall hearing anything else. The taste was dry and bitter. The feeling was awful. The concert was hot and my feet kept going to sleep and because I hadn’t eaten I couldn’t stand up. It was terrible. I was getting dehydrated NO ONE offered me water. Can we not show some compassion. I sang last night Palms 49 and I got $1 and finally had this creepy dude leave me alone. It was from a young boy. Teach your kids right. This little boy will never know what he did. That $1 didn’t go towards my moving truck. It went towards body wash for the homeless people of Palofax street. Supplies I’m bringing them tonight. I hope to make enough for a truck but this is for them not me. I’m bringing everything I can and hope it works. My bible and their stuff and my guitar is all I need. Wish me luck you guys!!!